Simplicity where it belongs
CollectionConnection is developed for publishing collections. It is especially helpful for publishing knowledge and information about our cultural heritage by providing support for thesauri, collections, linking objects to related information such as authors and collectors, and it has extensive and integrated support for images.
CollectionConnection hides the technical complexity of publishing as much as possible. Content providers (for example curators or librarians) work in their own environment, and with a push on the button the information from the production system is integrated in the publishing environment. Publishing on the internet can be done by yourself but can also be outsourced to your reseller. Although end-users are shielded from the technical details, they are available for developers to create advanced information retrieval solutions.
CollectionConnection is complete
All components that are needed are supplied. Publishing is fast and easy: choose the information that must be published (by mapping the source data to an XML-structure), and determine how you want to distribute the publication (internet, CD, kiosk). A publication template is part of CollectionConnection, but it can easily be adapted or replaced.
Independent of the source
CollectionConnection is not a by-product of a collection management system. It is especially developed to be able to work with multiple sources of information, e.g., dedicated systems such as The Museum System and Adlib, databases such as Microsoft Access, SQL-Server, and Oracle, or even plain XML, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, or PDF files. Furthermore, a scripting language provides a powerful interface to manipulate the underlying source data.
CollectionConnection provides support for several publication environments:
|•||Your collection or a part of your collection on the internet.|
|•||Your collection or a part of your collection on CD.|
|•||Object information on kiosks (e.g., in a museum).|
|•||Combining information sources (e.g., collection, library, thesaurus, electronic publications).|
|•||With CollectionConnection, you can participate in collective dissemination of collections.|
Powerful development tool for electronic publishing
The information in CollectionConnection can be accessed in many ways: from simple and easy to complex and powerful. A layered structure provides simplicity without hindering more demanding applications:
|•||An integrated web server with support for Active Server Pages (ASP) provides an easily accessible development platform.|
|•||CollectionConnection can be accessed from almost all Windows development platforms via a supplied OCX-component.|
|•||CollectionConnection can be accessed from SOAP, providing distributed and cross platform access.|
|•||Data can be retrieved by a simple HTTP request.|
|•||Programs can talk to CollectionConnection directly with a dedicated protocol.|
The safety of your production environment is crucial. Therefore, CollectionConnection is not accessing your production environment directly when publishing information. Instead, there is a two stage process. First, you decide what parts of your data may be published. Second, this data is put in a separate file that can be distributed separately from your production environment.
Communication with CollectionConnection can take place via SSL. Then, the communication between the user and CollectionConnection can not be observed by outsiders. Also, access can be restricted with a username and password. Furthermore, published information can be supplemented with a digital signature. With the signature, the receiver of the information can check whether the information has been tampered with or not.
Conformance to international standards
CollectionConnection conforms to several international information retrieval standards that are used by organizations in the cultural heritage domain. Data is stored as XML. Using this, the records can conform to the Dublin Core standard. Information can be retrieved with the OAI protocol (the Open Archives Initiative). CollectionConnection can be accessed with by bibliographic clients that use Z39.50.
Advanced and powerful full text searching
Search facilities are elaborate. Phrase searches, proximity searching, and searching with wildcards are no problem, even in large collections. Even complex queries will give the results in less than one second. CollectionConnection also provides functionality for users that do not know what they are searching for by adding structure to the search process. By providing spelling alternatives (Boedha, boedda, boedah, boeddha, bouddha), searching and browsing a thesaurus, structuring in collection sets, and dynamic content linking, it becomes easier to find information that someone is searching for.
Integrated solution for images
Images must often be edited before publishing: the image must be scaled, a border must be put around the image, it needs a background color, and possibly a copyright watermark. Such editing operations are time consuming, and must be done for each kind of publication again. CollectionConnection solves this by doing it only when necessary: at the moment that an image is requested and shown. One source image suffices for all electronic publications. Developers of publications do not need to search for images and they do not have to edit them themselves. They only need to determine how the image should look in the context of the publication, and CollectionConnection takes care of the rest. Furthermore, HTML image maps can be created easily and shown in any size with CollectionConnection.